Happenings at East Grand School District: Accomplishments from board meeting with parents
Superintendent, East Grand School District
Our school board has made it a focus to meet at each school one time per year giving better access for staff and community members to have conversations with board members. We will start having our outreach meetings this year on Dec. 5 at East Grand Middle School. Below I will give some of the main topics that arose last year and what we have done to continue making positive changes in our district.
• Increase Pay: We were able to increase the base pay for all staff this past year with a plan to be able to continue to gradually increase pay for the next three years.
• Affordable Housing: We are having discussions with local government agencies about the possibility of the school district pre-leasing property and/or looking at homes for sale pre-market. This is a big issue with no easy answers.
• Better avenues for communication home to school and school to home: We have changed our website for the better, as well as set up text notifications of school news. Each school also now has it’s own app that information is loaded on.
• Update curriculum materials: We have completely updated our science curriculum and are looking at language arts for this upcoming year.
• Being ready for workforce out of high school: With Grand County Higher Ed and West Grand Schools, we are a part of a large grant to build a robust internship program in the community as well as offer more “career” oriented courses at the high school.
• Internships: same as above
• Certificate tracks in CTE: As a part of the same grant we hope to get teachers trained and programs offered that will result in industry certificates for our students.
• Internship coordinator: With the help of the grant we will have a dedicated person to build community partnerships, keeping our counselors free to work on other aspects of counseling.
• Newspaper: We are expanding our articles to Sky-Hi News as well as reaching out to them much more often to follow up on stories.
• Website: We have completely overhauled our website making it much more user friendly.
• Various communication for parents: We have increased our options for being able to communicate with parents.
• More community participation: The high school has been working to consolidate events so parents, family members can attend more than one event on a given night.
• Perception of EGMS and MPHS: We have partnered to hire a school resource officer as well as brought in drug dogs to try and keep illegal drugs out of our buildings. Our middle and high school both showed academic growth leading to having the highest accreditation rating that the department of education offers.
• More aggressive marketing: This is a work in progress but we are putting welcome banners in the buildings and trying to tell anyone who will listen that we are one of the best districts in the state. We hope to get flyers to realtors by the spring as well.
• Project-based learning: We have received a grant from Mountain Parks Electric to train staff and promote Project Based and Personalized Learning for our students. We roll out the beginning of this pilot on Nov. 10.
• Alternatives for non college bound: Listed above but we hope to offer more certificate career and tech ed classes as well as increase internships for students.
• Social, emotional balance: We have increased the number of counselors in the district by adding an additional 1.5 counselors on the elementary level and 1 on the middle/high school level We have also trained our entire teaching staff in Capturing Kids Hearts, a program designed to give teachers better tools and skills at establishing positive relationships with students.
• Disruptions with technology: We have new software designed to notify our tech department when a student is searching for inappropriate material or may be searching dangerous sites. We also are providing training for staff in ways to best use technological devices so they do not become a disruption.
• Added counseling: see above
• Applicable staff development: We are offering teachers a menu of different items during training so that they may choose which professional development will have the greatest impact on their teaching.
• Roof replacement at GES: This was completed this summer
• School resource officer: In partnership with the Granby Police Department and generous donations, we now have a full time School Resource Officer in the district.
• Opened teaching positions sooner: Due to retirements, we were able to open positions up earlier in the year and we were able to choose from a much larger pool of qualified applicants as a result.
• Twitter w/ HS sports – look to expand: The high school athletic directors and a few coaches have begun to use twitter to keep us informed. This is still a work in progress.
• Improvements to outsides of buildings, more welcoming: We have re-imaged the front of both elementary schools making them look and feel much more welcoming. We continue to work on the grass at the middle school to help the aesthetics of that area and we re-surfaced our high school parking lot this summer.
• Provide assistance w/ music program: Mr. Pregeant was given a para-professional who also has musical skills and talent. The programs are still quite large and we may have to look at additional staff in the near future.
• Improved classified salary: We were able to increase the salary schedule for 2nd consecutive year for all of our classified employees.
• School apps: Each school now has their own app that they can put notifications and calendars on. These are easily downloaded and accessible for students and parents.
• Capturing kids hearts: see above, all teachers have been trained.
• Extended and more efficient lunch lines: Both elementary schools have made changes to their lunch systems to increase both time and efficiency for our students. The changes are allowing more time for students to eat as they are in line for much less time.
While there are items on the list that we have not yet fully addressed, this is an impressive list of requests that were both heard by the board, and also acted upon. We are listening and want to continue moving the district in a positive direction on our way to becoming the best district in the state. We want everybody to proudly proclaim that they are a part of East Grand School District.
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